Have you ever experienced what I like to call, “rundom?” That feeling you get on your fourth run of the week when you feel like the first half mile was actually six? Don’t get me wrong, I love to run. During the summer months, however, I have found that I often get bored of my usual running routes and I tend to stop enjoying my workouts. For the past month, I decided to switch things up and try something new. I challenged myself to try a variety of run-free activities that are both fun and fit-friendly! But that’s not all! I also decided to see how easy it would be to make a few simple, eco-friendly changes to my fitness gear and overall lifestyle. This is a little diary of my adventures and my personal reviews of the products that I used.
Over the Fourth of July, I had the opportunity to take a hike. Literally. I currently live near NYC, but over the holiday weekend I took a quick trip to the heart of Pennsylvania. Along with my family, I trekked up a mountain and set up camp in a clearing that had the most amazing view of the valley below. For the hike, I donned an incredibly fun tank top from Threads 4 Thought. You’re going to want to get to know this awesome company. Not only is Threads 4 Thought a sustainable fashion brand, their mission is to improve the planet–one thread at a time. They are committed to working ONLY with factory partners that treat their workers fairly and humanely (they personally travel around the world to ensure this) and they only use sustainable materials and manufacturing processes that are environmentally friendly. What’s not to love? But that’s not all. Their clothing is delicious–incredibly well made with super soft fabric and the loveliest prints you’ll ever see! The tank top I’m wearing below is called the Half Moon Tank in Tribal Yoga Print. The tank top is from Thread 4 Thought’s activewear collection and is made from their signature recycled poly-spandex blend to wick sweat! I’m obsessed.
The view from the top was incredible! Interested in taking this hike? Check out this link for more information!
For my next run-free activity, I recruited my roommate and we made our way to a tennis court. I won’t get into the details of the actual “match,” as we were both really terrible, but getting to hit the tennis ball was so fun and a great way to let off some steam. Within ten minutes I had worked up a sweat and felt like I was getting some cardio! Speaking of sweat, before heading to the courts, I decided to put on some all natural deodorant and it’s a good thing I did! I chose to try out Primal Pit Paste, a deodorant that not only works but is also good for you! All of their products are handcrafted from organic and natural ingredients. (They claim that you could eat it if you wanted to, but they suggest sticking to putting it under your pits!) Most deodorants and antiperspirants prevent you from sweating (which is pretty messed up since your body needs to sweat to release toxins) and they absorb into your skin. The ‘secret’ is out–if you don’t want to be absorbing things like Aluminum and Parabens, natural is the way to go! I tried the Thyme & Lemongrass Primal Pit Paste Stick, which was super easy to apply and smelled absolutely delectable. All you have to do is hold the stick under your arm to warm it up a little, then rub it on as you would normal deodorant. So what’s in this stuff? Four simple ingredients are used to make the paste including organic coconut oil, organic, raw grade A shea butter, non-aluminum baking soda, and organic arrowroot powder. The best part about Primal Pit Paste is that it actually worked!
Overall, tennis was the perfect workout because I was using muscles that I didn’t even know I had. I will say, however, that if you are a pet owner and decide to take your dog to the court–be careful! My dog loved chasing the tennis balls, but we quickly realized that the scratchy surface was hurting his paws! In the photo below, you will see me striking my best tennis pose. I am wearing another Threads 4 Thought tank top, this one is their Basic Tank in Charcoal.
The last activity I tried this month was actually my favorite–Barre! Before I get into the details, I should preface this paragraph by saying that I am NOT, by any means, a dancer. As it would turn out, you don’t have to be a dancer–or even that flexible–to get the most amazing workout from Barre Class! I had the opportunity to go to a class held by Local Barre in Hoboken, New Jersey. The studio was gorgeous and the instructor kept an eye on me the entire time to make sure I was doing the moves correctly, which I really appreciated. I never knew my legs could shake so uncontrollably (in the best way possible)! Barre challenges you to work your muscles on an entirely new level. Between all of the pulsing and tightening throughout the class, I left feeling strong and lean. For the class, I wore the prettiest barre shoes a girl could ever want by Blake Brody. You can find the exact style here. Blake Brody’s In-Studio Footwear includes ballet flat-like shoes that are flexible, soft, and breathable with a padded arch and the perfect amount of traction on the bottom to prevent slips and falls. The best part about these beauties, however, is Blake Brody’s commitment to using eco-friendly materials and manufacturing processes. The liner is made with 100% recycled ultra-microfiber reconstituted from post-industrial material, the cushioning was developed using a renewable soy-based polyol that is free of latex, PVC, VOCs and heavy metals, and their Ballerinas (for the street) have soles that are made from recycled rubber. I have to admit, with everyone else in the class wearing black Barre socks, I felt a bit like Cinderella in her glass slippers–although there was no way I was going to leave one behind! In the photos below, I am also wearing Threads 4 Thought’s Half Lotus Crop pants in Tribal Yoga Print (yes they match my tank from above and yes I am just as obsessed!).
With all my trekking around this month, I was looking for the perfect tote to carry all of my gear. Enter Pelcor, a contemporary fashion label with premium sustainable accessories in cork skin. Yes, cork skin. And yes, it’s as gorgeous and luxurious as you think! Pelcor is a Portuguese brand that designs pieces that combine cork skin with a careful manufacturing process in local factories (using eco-friendly materials) that allows for the creation of delicate, sophisticated accessories. So what’s so special about cork? First of all, it’s a symbol of renewal and longevity, as the cork oak has a lifetime of 250-350 years and is the only tree whose bark regenerates itself after each harvest. It’s also extremely light, waterproof, flexible, resistant, and environmentally friendly! What could be better! I was able to try out Pelcor’s Sunshine Tote in Turquoise, which is beautiful. The unique, roomy design was perfect for carrying around my sneakers, tennis balls, and barre shoes. Plus it just so happens that turquoise is my favorite color, as you can clearly see in the photo below!
I don’t know about you, but after an active, fitness-filled day, there’s nothing I’d rather do than take a nice shower and relax with a glass of wine. This month, I tried two products that helped me to do just that. After doing any type of physical exercise, especially in the heat of summer, the right shower products are essential to keep clean and fresh. I absolutely loved using Sweet Salvage Body Wash with spearmint and eucalyptus. There’s absolutely nothing synthetic or artificial in the bottle, and the high concentration of glycerin, coconut, almond and avocado oils left my skin feeling moisturized and clean.
As for the glass of wine, I tried a bottle of Philosophy Wine by green lifestyle expert, Danny Seo. The entire line of Philosophy Wine is organic, and Danny’s “philosophy” is that if everyone can just do one small thing each day, even drinking wine, the world will be a better place. Amen to that, Danny! Philosophy Wine gives Americans the option to drink sustainably without sacrificing quality, and the first two wines available in this collection do just that! I tried both the Zinfandel and the Sauvignon Blanc, which come from the prized, organic vineyards of Mendocino, California. Both were equally delicious, but as a red wino at heart, the Zinfandel was my favorite!
All in all, this month has shown me that trying something new, whether you end up liking it or not, is a wonderful way to learn more about yourself and your body. If you have grown tired of your same old gym routine, I suggest trying something you never thought you would do and see what happens! I bet you’ll be surprised at how much you enjoy it. I’m also grateful that I had the opportunity to try new, eco-friendly products from companies who really care about what they are putting into the world. My experience this month was a refreshing reminder that little changes can lead to big moves in the direction of a healthier, happier life.